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A Tale of Two Cities

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“And as such,” quoth Mr. Lorry, whom the counsel learned in the law had now shouldered back into the group, just as he had previously shouldered him out of it—“as such I will appeal to Doctor Manette, to break up this conference and order us all to our homes. Miss Lucie looks ill, Mr. Darnay has had a terrible day, we are worn out.” Mr. Stryver had now pushed Mr. Lorry back into the group, just as he had pushed him out before. “And as a businessman,” said Mr. Lorry, “I will ask Dr. Manette to break up this conversation and order us all to go home. Miss Lucie looks ill, Mr. Darnay has had a terrible day, and everyone is exhausted.”
“Speak for yourself, Mr. Lorry,” said Stryver; “I have a night’s work to do yet. Speak for yourself.” “Speak for yourself, Mr. Lorry,” said Stryver. “I have work to do tonight. Speak for yourself.”
“I speak for myself,” answered Mr. Lorry, “and for Mr. Darnay, and for Miss Lucie, and—Miss Lucie, do you not think I may speak for us all?” He asked her the question pointedly, and with a glance at her father. “I speak for myself, for Mr. Darnay, and for Miss Lucie,” answered Mr. Lorry. “Don’t you think I can speak for all of us, Miss Lucie?” he asked her, glancing at her father.
His face had become frozen, as it were, in a very curious look at Darnay: an intent look, deepening into a frown of dislike and distrust, not even unmixed with fear. With this strange expression on him his thoughts had wandered away. Dr. Manette was looking at Darnay strangely. It was an intense look that grew into a frown of dislike and distrust, mixed with fear. With this expression on his face his mind had wandered off.
“My father,” said Lucie, softly laying her hand on his. “Father.” said Lucie, gently taking his hand.
He slowly shook the shadow off, and turned to her. The look faded from his face, and he turned to look at her.
“Shall we go home, my father?” “Shall we go home, Father?”
With a long breath, he answered “Yes.” “Yes,” he answered with a long sigh.
The friends of the acquitted prisoner had dispersed, under the impression—which he himself had originated—that he would not be released that night. The lights were nearly all extinguished in the passages, the iron gates were being closed with a jar and a rattle, and the dismal place was deserted until to-morrow morning’s interest of gallows, pillory, whipping-post, and branding-iron, should repeople it. Walking between her father and Mr. Darnay, Lucie Manette passed into the open air. A hackney-coach was called, and the father and daughter departed in it. Mr. Darnay had told them that he would not be released that night, so the group went their separate ways. Almost all of the lamps in the hallways had been put out, and the iron gates were noisily being shut. The courthouse would be empty until another crowd arrived the next morning hoping to see people hanged, whipped, branded, or sent to the stocks. Lucie stepped outside and walked between her father and Mr. Darnay. They called a coach, and then Lucie and her father got in and left.
Mr. Stryver had left them in the passages, to shoulder his way back to the robing-room. Another person, who had not joined the group, or interchanged a word with any one of them, but who had been leaning against the wall where its shadow was darkest, had silently strolled out after the rest, and had looked on until the coach drove away. He now stepped up to where Mr. Lorry and Mr. Darnay stood upon the pavement. Mr. Stryver had left them in the hallway to push his way back to the changing room. A man who had not been in their group and hadn’t spoken a word to any of them was leaning against the wall in the shadows. He had silently followed them out and had watched Dr. Manette and his daughter drive away in the coach. Now he came up to where Mr. Lorry and Mr. Darnay were standing on the street.
“So, Mr. Lorry! Men of business may speak to Mr. Darnay now?” “So, Mr. Lorry! Respected businessmen can now be seen talking publicly with Mr. Darnay again?” said Mr. Carton.
Nobody had made any acknowledgment of Mr. Carton’s part in the day’s proceedings; nobody had known of it. He was unrobed, and was none the better for it in appearance. Nobody had mentioned the role Mr. Carton had played in the events of the day. Nobody had noticed him there. He wasn’t wearing his robe anymore and looked worse than he had in the courtroom.
“If you knew what a conflict goes on in the business mind, when the business mind is divided between good-natured impulse and business appearances, you would be amused, Mr. Darnay.” “If you knew how conflicted businessmen become when they are caught between doing the right thing and the professional thing, you would find it funny, Mr. Darnay,” said Mr. Carton.
Mr. Lorry reddened, and said, warmly, “You have mentioned that before, sir. We men of business, who serve a House, are not our own masters. We have to think of the House more than ourselves.” Mr. Lorry blushed and said in a friendly manner, “You have said that before, sir. We men of business, who work for a company, cannot think only of ourselves. We have to think of what’s best for the company.”
I know, I know,” rejoined Mr. Carton, carelessly. “Don’t be nettled, Mr. Lorry. You are as good as another, I have no doubt: better, I dare say.” “I know, I know,” answered Mr. Carton casually. “Don’t get upset, Mr. Lorry. You are as good a man as any, I’m sure. Better, I might say.”

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